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British Airways To Launch Guide Robots At London Heathrow Airport

#artificialintelligence

British Airways is experimenting with a new tool for guiding passengers through its massive London Heathrow hub: guide robots. Starting in 2020, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom will deploy an array of autonomous robots in Terminal 5 of its London Heathrow base to help guide passengers through the airport and answer basic questions. The problem is harder to solve than it may initially sound. Getting around Heathrow requires deep knowledge of the dozens of storefronts, duty-free shops and lounges in the terminals as well as the ability to navigate through multiple floors and throngs of passengers who may not always be paying attention to their surroundings. To help guide passengers, the new robots will not only have to know where they are at all times but also be able to navigate through the airport without getting lost or running into travelers.


British Airways plans to trial A.I.-powered robots at Heathrow Airport

#artificialintelligence

British Airways is set to trial artificial intelligence powered robots at Heathrow Terminal 5. In an announcement Thursday, the airline said the autonomous robots had been programmed to "interact with passengers" in multiple languages and would be able to answer "thousands" of questions, providing passengers with services such as real-time flight information. The robots are being provided by a technology company called BotsAndUs and the trial will start in 2020. British Airways added that the robots would also have the capacity to escort passengers to locations such as special assistance zones. "These smart robots are the latest innovation allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate," Ricardo Vidal, who is head of innovation at British Airways, said in a statement.


British Airways trials A.I. at London's Heathrow Airport to reduce delays

#artificialintelligence

British Airways (BA) has introduced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to parts of its "airside operation" at Heathrow Airport. In an announcement Monday, the airline said that AI would be used to tackle challenges faced when an aircraft is being prepared for departure after passengers from its previous flight have disembarked. It's during this time that staff on the ground undertake manual checks related to 18 different things, making records of what they are doing, British Airways said. These checks have to be done before the plane takes to the air again and are, among other things, related to refueling, the unloading and reloading of luggage, and cleaning of the aircraft's inside. BA said that if one of these tasks encounters an issue, it could potentially disrupt the whole process, resulting in a delayed departure.


Heathrow trials a driverless vehicle in new footage

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Fascinating footage has been released of a robot's-eye-view of a driverless vehicle trial at Heathrow Airport, side-by-side with how a human driver would see the routes it took. The clip comes from a'cargopod' vehicle that spent three and a half weeks running autonomously along a cargo route around the airside perimeter. The trial collected over 200km of data for Heathrow, cargo operator IAG Cargo and the software firm providing the self-driving tech, Oxford-based Oxbotica. Fascinating footage has been released of a robot's-eye-view of a driverless vehicle trial at Heathrow Airport, side-by-side with how a human driver would see the routes it took The clip comes from a'cargopod' vehicle, pictured, that spent three and a half weeks running autonomously along a cargo route around the airside perimeter The trial was designed to further understanding about how autonomous vehicles could work in an airside environment so opportunities for their use can be maximised. Lynne Embleton, CEO at IAG Cargo, said: 'Technology is evolving at an incredible pace.


Facial Scanning Now Arriving At U.S. Airports

NPR Technology

Passengers use facial recognition scanners before boarding a British Airways flight in Orlando, Fla. Brian Naylor/NPR hide caption The use of facial scanning is becoming commonplace -- maybe you've heard of the new iPhone? At the Orlando International Airport, Britain-bound passengers -- some wearing Mickey Mouse T-shirts and other Disney paraphernalia -- lined up at Gate 80 recently for the evening British Airways flight to London's Gatwick Airport. It looks like any other airport departure area, except for the two small gates with what look like small boxes on posts next to them. Those boxes are actually cameras. They were installed earlier this month by SITA, the Geneva-based company that develops information technology for the world's airlines, in conjunction with British Airways and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP.


Drone strikes British Airways plane near Heathrow

ZDNet

An investigation is underway after a passenger plane was hit by what is believed to be a drone. A drone crashing into a passenger jet near Heathrow Airport has prompted an investigation by the police and British Airways. On Sunday, a flight launched by carrier British Airways from Geneva was hit as it approached Heathrow Airport's landing strip. As reported by the BBC, the plane had 132 passengers and five crew members on board at the time of the incident, in which BA believes an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), otherwise known as a drone, hit the front of the jet. The Metropolitan Police is now investigating the incident, but no arrests have yet been made.



Police probe after 'drone' hits plane

BBC News

A police investigation is under way after a passenger plane approaching Heathrow Airport hit what is believed to have been a drone. If confirmed, it is believed to be the first incident of its kind in the UK. No arrests have been made, police said. The Metropolitan Police's aviation security unit based at Heathrow will lead the investigation. After safely landing the plane, the pilot reported an object - believed to have been a drone - had struck the front of the Airbus A320.


Drone hits plane at Heathrow airport, says pilot

The Guardian

Police are investigating a pilot's claim that his plane was struck by a drone as it approached Heathrow airport. The Metropolitan police said they were contacted on Sunday afternoon by the pilot, who landed the plane safely at Terminal 5. No one has been arrested, officers said. The flight, BA727, was coming in to London from Geneva, carrying 132 passengers and five crew. British Airways said the Airbus A320 had been examined by engineers and cleared to take off for its next flight after the incident.